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American Indian Wars

Frontier conflicts in North America, 1609–1890s / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, and the Indian Wars,[note 1] were fought by European governments and colonists in North America, and later by the United States government and American settlers, against various American Indian tribes. These conflicts occurred in the United States from the time of the earliest colonial settlements in the 17th century until the end of the 19th century. The various wars resulted from a wide variety of factors, the most common being the desire of settlers and governments for Indian tribes' lands. The European powers and their colonies also enlisted allied Indian tribes to help them conduct warfare against each other's colonial settlements. After the American Revolution, many conflicts were local to specific states or regions and frequently involved disputes over land use; some entailed cycles of violent reprisal.

Quick facts: American Indian Wars, Date, Location, Result,...
American Indian Wars
An 1899 chromolithograph of U.S. Cavalrymen pursuing American Indians
Date1609 – 1890s
United States with spillover in Alaska, Canada, and Mexico
American Indians, including the tribes: Cherokee, Creek (Muscogee),
Lakota, Miami, Shawnee, Seminole, Wampanoag, and the Northwestern Confederacy
Alaska Natives
Colonists, Viceroyalty and Europeans:
Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg British Empire:
Flag_of_England.svg Kingdom of England
Flag_of_Great_Britain_%281707%E2%80%931800%29.svg Kingdom of Great Britain
Flag_of_Great_Britain_%281707%E2%80%931800%29.svg British America
Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg British North America
Flag_of_Canada_%281921%E2%80%931957%29.svg Dominion of Canada
Royal_Standard_of_the_King_of_France.svg First French Empire:
Royal_Standard_of_the_King_of_France.svg Kingdom of France
Royal_flag_of_France.svg New France
Flag_of_Cross_of_Burgundy.svg Spanish Empire:
Flag_of_Cross_of_Burgundy.svg Kingdom of Spain
Flag_of_Cross_of_Burgundy.svg Council of the Indies
Flag_of_Cross_of_Burgundy.svg Viceroyalty of New Spain
Statenvlag.svg Dutch Empire:
Statenvlag.svg New Netherland
Flag_of_Russia.svg Russia:
Flag_of_the_Russian-American_Company.svg Russian America
Flag_of_the_United_States_%281912-1959%29.svg United States
Flag_of_Mexico_%281823-1864%2C_1867-1893%29.svg Mexico
Flag_of_Texas_%281839%E2%80%931879%29.svg Republic of Texas
Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_%281865%29.svg Confederate States

As settlers spread westward across the United States after 1780, armed conflicts increased in size, duration, and intensity between settlers and various Indian tribes. The climax came in the War of 1812, when major Indian coalitions in the U.S. Midwest and the U.S. South fought against the United States and lost. Conflict with settlers became less common and was usually resolved by treaties between the federal government and specific tribes, which often required the tribes to sell or surrender land to the United States. These treaties were frequently broken by the U.S. government. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized the U.S. government to force Indian tribes to move from east of the Mississippi River to the west on the American frontier, especially to Indian Territory which became Oklahoma. As settlers expanded onto the Great Plains and the Western United States, the nomadic and semi-nomadic Indian tribes of those regions were forced to relocate to reservations.

Indian tribes and coalitions often won battles with the encroaching settlers and soldiers, but their numbers were too few and their resources too limited to win more than temporary victories and concessions from the U.S. and other countries that colonized areas that had composed the modern-day borders of the U.S.